Mindanao officials welcomed the appointment of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, but the chosen Liberal Party standard bearer was not given an assurance that he would get their full support at this time.
“Just like President Aquino, we see Secretary Roxas as someone who has a heart for the Bangsamoro, someone who truly understands and supports our desires as a people, as a nation,” said Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman.
He added that the Aquino administration supported ARMM through the implementation of various projects that “allowed the region to become what it is today: A failed experiment no more.”
“With this, we are confident that Secretary Roxas will put the interest of the people in Mindanao among his priorities,” said Hataman.
On the other hand, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the appointment of Roxas gives the Filipino people the opportunity to have more choices.
He also said Roxas, as the standard bearer of the Liberal Party, has the edge over the other presidential candidates because he has the logistics and machineries of the government.
However, he said he will never support Roxas because of Justice Sec. Leila de Lima, who said she is considering running for senator under the Liberal Party.
De Lima and Duterte have been at odds with each other because of the cases of extrajudicial killings in Davao City and the alleged presence of the shadowy Davao Death Squad.
However, he also said that the next president should be “incorruptible, competent, and the passion to serve.”
Roxas, like the other would-be presidents, has “in a way” those qualities.
Zamboanga Cong. Celso Lobregat, a Laban ng Demo-kratikong Pilipino (LDP) stalwart, said he has no inclination yet who to support for president in next year’s presidential elections.
However, Lobregat said that option to support the presidential bid of Roxas, who is his friend, “is not closed.”
Lobregat said he will wait for the stand of the LDP “as a party” since they will just coalesce with another political party as they don’t have a presidential candidate.
With this, Duterte chooses to focus his sight on voters, by encouraging the electorate to carefully choose their candidates.
“The important question to ask is who will be able to improve the lives of the people for the next six years,” he said.